Four Kids and It is a fun, family action adventure story of four children who stumble upon a centuries-old wish-granting enigma, that they will need to protect from an evil interloper. The tale is inspired by Five Children and It, the turn-of-the-century children’s classic by English author E. Nesbit, and is updated for today’s modern family.
Things aren’t exactly easy for Ros (Teddie Malleson-Allen) and her younger brother, Robbie (Billy Jenkins). And they’re about to get a whole lot worse. At their newly-single father David’s (Matthew Goode) insistence, the trio are now heading off for a ‘fun-filled’ seaside holiday in Cornwall – a vacation to which the bookish Ros and the videogame-addicted Robbie remain indifferent at best.
When they arrive at their summer getaway, they learn their holiday is in fact a thinly-veiled family bonding trip with their potential future step-siblings Smash (Ashley Aufderheide), Maudie (Ellie-Mae Siame) and their workaholic American mom, Alice (Paula Patton). Furthermore, their worst fears will be realized – that their own parents’ separation may soon become permanent.
Fortunately for Ros and Robbie, the out-of-control Smash is equally determined to have nothing to do with adults’ plans to create a new family. Their seemingly inevitable battle is interrupted by an unexpected turn of events – the discovery of a ‘Psammead’ (voiced by Michael Caine) – the P is silent – a magical, sandy, and decidedly grumpy creature, with a rare ability.
The ancient Psammead is capable of granting his new friends one wish a day, but it only lasts until sunset. Their wishes are fanciful and grandiose. Seeing their children banding together breathes a sigh of relief for Alice and David – unaware of the frivolity afoot, or the dangerous nature of their wishes.
While they entertain their inner devils and grow evermore attached to Psammead, they are unaware they’ve come under the watchful eye of eccentric local, Tristan Trent III (Russell Brand). Capturing the Psammead for his own purposes has been his long-held ambition. It will fall to the children to protect their new friend from Trent’s evil clutches.
Michael Caine provides Psammead with an endearing quality and there are great performances from the young actors.
Four Kids and It is screening in Brisbane cinemas from this Thursday 17 September. Other Australian states open from 24 September; Victoria screenings to be advised. Please check your local guides for screening times.
About Four Kids and It
Running time: 110 mins
Directed by: Andy De Emmony
Written by Simon Lewis, based on the book Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson
Stars: Paula Patton, Matthew Goode, Teddie Malleson-Allen, Ashley Aufderheide, Russell Brand, Michael Caine